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  • Question about Shallowings

    Driftwood spoilers. My players go away.

    Imagine a Void Engineer f-ed up and collapsed the Gauntlet (that's not quite what happened, but for the purposes of this question it's close enough).

    So imagine a singularity with an event horizon and inside of it is a significant Shallowing where the Gauntlet is 0.

    So all of the spirits in the Near Umbra are physically manifested? What is one most likely to see immediately after this happened? Do Pattern Spiders have any natural predators?

    Speculate on what you think might happen after a couple of years like this.

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    A couple years? Are you sure the Pattern Spiders would let it persist for that long?

    Although I suppose that and most other aspects of such a scenario would depend heavily on where the shallowing opened up. If it's in a major urban area, it's like to get closed again by either Pattern Spiders or the Technocracy, unless it's heavily run down. What M20's section on Reality Zones calls "Urban Decay", although "Irrationality Zones" might work as well. Places where faith in the Technocratic Paradigm has broken down. Abandoned sections of town - slums, abandoned factories, urban warzones - may cause a shallowing to persist because of the weakness of the influence of the Technocracy or Weaver.

    Places outside develop urban areas - mostly rural or wilderness locales - will also make it more likely for a shallowing to persist. The important part is that it not exist immediately around heavy foot traffic, or else either Disbelief would fill it up again, or the Technocracy would catch wind of it. Spirits that start pouring into major thoroughfares will attract a lot of attention. If it's only near human habitations, or under heavy cover, it could work.

    These places also determine what kind of spirits and Bygones will cross over, and what humans might end up slipping into the Umbra by accident. Abandoned schools might have many Astral spirits (of knowledge, etc.), while rural spots will be populated by Naturae. Locations of urban blight play host to entropic spirits, ghosts, and umbrood pertaining to negative emotions. Figures from urban legends might use the Shallowing to cross over and reenact their shtick, assuming the comings and goings of a spirit doesn't create an urban legend.


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    • #3
      It's in rural Florida. In this campaign loss of faith in the Technocratic Paradigm is pervasive everywhere. This singularity happens to be isolated enough that it's been kept under wraps (it's a Superfund site is the cover story).

      The reason it's Shallow there is (spoilers) because it's a patch of barren Hedge (yes, in my campaign Changeling: The Lost and Changeling: The Dreaming are both canon). It's a gash in the fabric of reality that I still don't think I know how it's supposed to be mended. (Even in their most cynical metagaming imagination, they're never going to think to look for answers in a Changeling The Lost sourcebook).

      The Pattern Spiders are powerless against it. The Technocracy is the center of the campaign and they are 1) struggling to figure it out since they're not terribly well-suited to understanding faerie and 2) don't have their shit together in quite the same way as in other Mage canon. (See also: Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer for the inspiration of struggling scientists within an incompetent conspiracy).
      Last edited by GogariGlenRoss; 02-23-2017, 08:08 PM.

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      • #4
        Oh ho ho! So that's the trick!

        Well first, consider the flora and fauna native to Florida wetlands, and make them...weirder. Giant gators, mosquitos, and Venus fly traps are going to be your friend here. Or, rather, the friends (or enemies) of the cabal. Depends on how diplomatic the cabal is and how willing to talk the swamp spirits are.

        If we're bringing Changeling: The Lost into this, obviously the name of the game will be thorns and goblins (depending on how you mesh the Lost and Dreaming sides, I don't know if they'll be Chimerical or not; use your discretion). Maybe a few Tokens lying around, though you'll describe them as weird little Artifacts with idiosyncratic activation methods (the Catch). If players try siphoning Quintessence from things or creatures in the area, remember that it's going to be Glamour-flavored Quintessence. I believe one of the CtL books have rules for when characters absorb a lot of Glamour from human emotions, and how this might affect their psyche, or behave like a drug hit. Make the players understand that there's something...bizarre about the Quint around there. Let 'em trip balls for a while. That'll be fun.


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        • #5
          Oooh. I think I had a giant venus flytrap in my brainstorming notebook but I forgot about it. Could be a great encounter.

          I'm hoping to create a very weird, uneasy harsh and brutal ecosystem between the mundane animals, chimera, and spirits.

          I know one of my players well enough that he's going to love roleplaying a Technocrat addicted to Glamour-Quintessence. I should probably introduce that idea earlier rather than later.

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          • #6
            Speaking of Technocrats, there's probably going to be at least one NPC Technocrat stationed around there. You know, to keep an eye on the place. I'm thinking a Progenitor set up in a lab, somewhere on the edge of the swamp. Because the Union is apparently disorganized and out of their depth, this NPC is likely not there by choice. They were either chosen for bureaucratic convenience, or because he knows just enough about Dimensional Science to make reports about the Shallowing. Reassigned from whatever lab they originally worked at, they'd be working on their project as best they can, despite having to have everything moved on short notice. Data misfiled, samples tainted, the building improperly secured, and the test subjects not reacting well to the heat and humidity. Add to this having to deal with the nonsense that comes from the Shallowing, and I see this guy being disgruntled. They wouldn't be able to give a lot of assistance - the experiments need constant tending, in between forays into the swamp - but they'd surely be grateful for help solving the problem.


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            • #7
              The PCs are the Technocrats stationed to keep an eye on the place.

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              • #8
                Are the PCs agents of the Union? Because, in a scenario of a crumbling Technocracy (which, while I don't portay the Union as such, but I place those bastards of Control a lot farther away from the day-to-day of the front lines). In such scenarios, were the agents, while not so fully supported by the structures of the Union, also have a lot more freedom. I can certanly see a change in the culture of the agents in the frontlines; the Pogrom is a thing that those prophets living in the sky say you should do, with thousands of reasons and philosophies for it. But, when you and your teammates are alone in the frontlines, all the ideology in the world won't help you survive AND get your job done.

                In this situation, I can see the majority of agents, rather than going full Primium-charged on, the majority of agents would traffic with deviants.

                That's, actually, the most intelligent way to deal with the situation. It would also change the culture of the Traditions themselves - instead of heavily investing in a full-out war against the Union, traditionalists invest more time in power gathering. Those traditionalists that go full militaristic and face the Union heads on, kicking the doors of the constructs with fireballs everywhere, those are the guys that are successful in atracting the full extension of the Pogrom. That's not wise. The most successful chantries are those that learn how to keep their cool. The ones extremely successful are the ones that learned how to be vital to the nearby constructs. Control may wanna have it's agents as apex predators, and those damn archmages from Concordia may want the same for their lessers on Earth, but those on the frontlines won't risk their necks without a good reason for someone hidding in the sky.
                Such scenario open up new possibilities... Your PC agents could exchange favors with the local supernaturals... I mean, technocrats have vast knowledge, contacts, influence... Even in a shattered Union, there is a lot that an agent can do. Even more what an amalgam is capable of. All that raw power - money, contacts, information, knowledge, influence, hypertech and enlightened science - that can be exchanged for information, favors, knowledge.
                Your PCs could make a bargain with local traditionalists. A peace offer - a compromise of not enforcing the Pogrom - could suffice (yeah, agents of Union can expect a leverage on bargains against others, particularly traditionalists. You can thank the propaganda of "the Union is all powerful" for that). So, while the local traditionalists may not know exactly what's going on themselves, they may know someone who could, and besides, they may wanna solve this problem too (the PC agents can also play with their fears, claiming "we don't wanna endorse the Pogrom, but if we can't solve this, they are gonna send more manpower to the area, and you know what that would mean... Smart agents will be able to turn traditionalists into "freelancers" working for the Union... It's a win-win situation... As long as the Union wins more)

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                • #9
                  By the way, I'm also planning to include The Lost in my games, however, I'll make them a little different; I'll make the True Fae the aliens of the Deep Umbra, and the nefandi K'llashaa that worship beings from the Deep Umbra... Well, guess who the Cthulhu beings are?

                  Yep, I'll make the Cthulhu beings from the beyond to be the True Fae from Changelling the Lost. I found that idea absolutely perfect for those beings. And, the reason why they are so interested on Earth, is to build their legends. The K'llashaa are the worse kind of jerks, the assholes who kidnap people for their masters in the beyond to use as puppets in their games. The Lost are a new breed of beings, those changed forever by the alien monsters from the beyond.
                  That also gives a good reasoning to the actions of those mysterious sect of Nefandi (who, toghether with the *True Fae* themselves, are the main antagonists of **The Lost**)

                  * From now on, to be called "The Old Ones
                  ** From now on, to be called "The Others"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GogariGlenRoss View Post
                    The PCs are the Technocrats stationed to keep an eye on the place.
                    Indeed, but if they're PCs, they'll probably need a superior to answer to. A superior with their own preoccupations, who sends the PCs out to solve problems. The one who holds the keys to the speedboat (because like hell a scientist is going to wade through swamp water, with or without other-dimensional parasites).


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                      Oh ho ho! So that's the trick!

                      Well first, consider the flora and fauna native to Florida wetlands, and make them...weirder. Giant gators, mosquitos, and Venus fly traps are going to be your friend here. Or, rather, the friends (or enemies) of the cabal. Depends on how diplomatic the cabal is and how willing to talk the swamp spirits are.

                      If we're bringing Changeling: The Lost into this, obviously the name of the game will be thorns and goblins (depending on how you mesh the Lost and Dreaming sides, I don't know if they'll be Chimerical or not; use your discretion). Maybe a few Tokens lying around, though you'll describe them as weird little Artifacts with idiosyncratic activation methods (the Catch). If players try siphoning Quintessence from things or creatures in the area, remember that it's going to be Glamour-flavored Quintessence. I believe one of the CtL books have rules for when characters absorb a lot of Glamour from human emotions, and how this might affect their psyche, or behave like a drug hit. Make the players understand that there's something...bizarre about the Quint around there. Let 'em trip balls for a while. That'll be fun.
                      But, The Lost and the Chimericals from the Dreaming are VERY different. Despite the energy those two games use be called by the same name of "Glamour", they are NOT the same thing. Will you make it the same material, or will it be a new "etherial material" type?

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                      • #12
                        Because, Changellings from the Dreaming are made of dreams and imagination; the Lost however, are creatures of FATE (their True Fae are the agents of Fate incarnated). So, "chimerical glamour" is glamour of creativity, the magic of the world itself, and "fate glamour" is the "energy of destiny"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                          Indeed, but if they're PCs, they'll probably need a superior to answer to. A superior with their own preoccupations, who sends the PCs out to solve problems. The one who holds the keys to the speedboat (because like hell a scientist is going to wade through swamp water, with or without other-dimensional parasites).

                          That's definitely going to come up as the story goes on. The Syndicate are looking to monetize it, the Progenitors are looking for discoveries in it, the NWO want it to go away because it's getting increasingly harder to cover up, Iteration X just doesn't think it's important, and Void Engineers are prepared to just walk away because they're tired of losing people and equipment in it.

                          The whole thing is a metaphor for global warming. The singularity doesn't look like much of a threat now, but unless it's stopped, it will swallow the whole world eventually (eventually just seems far enough off that many don't feel like they need to worry about it right now).

                          Originally posted by Karlgust View Post

                          But, The Lost and the Chimericals from the Dreaming are VERY different. Despite the energy those two games use be called by the same name of "Glamour", they are NOT the same thing. Will you make it the same material, or will it be a new "etherial material" type?
                          I'm not that worried about the differences. If the game seems inconsistent, that's just the nature of trying to measure faerie with science. It's supposed to be confusing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GogariGlenRoss View Post

                            I'm not that worried about the differences. If the game seems inconsistent, that's just the nature of trying to measure faerie with science. It's supposed to be confusing.
                            It's not about measuring with science, it's just to define how is this going to work out and how the scenario will play for you to be able to deal with it. You can make both being the same. The True Fae from The Lost can be the denizens of the Dreaming Arcadia, the very Primal Dreams and Primal Nightmares (the dreams of cosmic creatures, like Gaia, Wyrm, Weaver and Gaia, the Neverborn, and such god-like primal beings?). The Hedge could be a kind of "penumbra" to Arcadia itself, as oposed to the Dreaming, which connection to Arcadia is unknown.
                            The Dreaming changelling could be the "half-fae", the children of the True Fae with humans, while The Lost changellings are humans twisted by the alien True Fae in Arcadia... Well, it's up to you. Two games, one game, whatever. Just describe it to better understand how would they work

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                            • #15
                              Well, if you wanna add weirdness to all of that, place a goblin market set on town, have a few goblins escaping that opening, and let goblin fruits become a commodity in the closer small town

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